We drove a 150cc motorbike through 5 countries of South America. The only reason to drive this little motorbike with so much luggage and two persons was that Geo had bought the motorbike 2 years prior in Paraguay to explore the continent by himself. But he never did. Now was the chance. And that was what we did.
Snorting like a dog with flattend face, the 150 cc Kenton made it over 4500 meter altitude. We are at salar de Surire, a bomb of beauty. Both muted by the sound the engine makes upon turning the key one single turn, we praise our Kenton for starting without hesitation.
The desert makes me sleep easier than usual, deeper than anywhere else and better on a whole. In fact, I go as tired to bed now as when I was cycling, which puzzles me. I hit the air mattress extremely satisfied, and it are especially those moments, when I lay down, that are the best of the day. Only rivaling with the moment of waking up. As I am equally eager to start exploring the surroundings of where my tent is.
Have you heard of the online magazine from Grace? It is a free magazine about cycling touring where she features people who are on the road, people with stories, tips and idea’s and beautiful photographs. A source of inspiration and a good read. I’m proud to announce that Grace featured me. Grace used a photo I made from one of the best cycling experiences I had.
So, what precisely is a micro climate? People told me it is pristine out here, how pure is that? And how exactly does Patagonia looks like? Carretera Austral, everyone who has been to Patagonia talks about it.
Cycle-touring designers are keeping in mind that a cyclist returns home after their holiday. Rohloff thinks like this, Magura thinks like this and the Chinese manufactures count on this real hard.
For some occult reason I had given my dad a woolen thermal shirt, woolen socks and a fleece sleeping bag liner when he visited me in the Atacama desert.
The rain, for me at this moment, is a sound of elegant yet forceful fingers tapping on a tight drum, stretched cloth above my head; my tent, my home.
When there is no thing to look forward to, when all you do is what you want to do, when your current lifestyle exist of what you love to do only, when there is no thing to work for, and every day a free day, even though you might cycle 10 days on end, it start to become rather unrealistic. The difference between you and others is so obvious: yóu are still playing around, already 4 years!
I am a comfort junkie. I don’t mind, and still be happy, without a shower preceding the number of 14 days.
With less tan on my arms I cycle out of Calama, noticing my fitness has plummeted dramatically too. That my belly has gathered more fat is no issue but the wind seems fiercer than ever, or is only because being in towns I haven’t noticed the unfriendly desert weather?
Without Further Pondering: Booked! Dad wants to escape the gloom Dutch winter. I think he should come to me. My sister agrees. She books a flight. And then I start to stress: can dad handle the altitude of nearly 4000 meters, he has a lung capacity of 50 percent and he’s got a cardiac arrhythmia?
Excuses for the earlier, pre-mature publishing of the post, now this post is ready and brimming with photo’s. While I am cycling in the snow, this post goes back to Januari 2017 when it was very warm. And if you still think a desert is boring, think again after seeing this!
When the shiny luxury bus transported me to Lima I passed through the Atacama desert and the only thing I knew was: GO BACK! GO BACK! GO BACK! GO BACK! GO BACK! GO BACK! GO BACK!
First and foremost: cycling slow means having to carry more supplies as the distance from town to town is taking you longer. Being more heavy is even more slower. For a fast one with minimal load everything changes, but for one thing…
I have battled the head wind of the Atacama desert in Chile.